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Global business sees sharpest downturn since 2009 amid COVID-19 pandemic

15 April 2020 Chris Williamson, BA, MA econ

The following is an extract from IHS Markit's monthly PMI overview presentation. For the full report please click on the link at the bottom of the article.

Global business activity contracted in March at the fastest rate for 11 years as measures to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic took an increasing toll on economies around the world. The JPMorgan Global PMI™ (compiled by IHS Markit) fell by a near record 6.7 points in March, building on a prior plunge of 6.1 points in February to drop from 46.1 to 39.4, its lowest since the height of the global financial crisis in February 2009. The latest reading indicates a second successive month of steeply declining business activity, comparable with global GDP falling at an annual rate of approximately 1.5-2.0% (at market prices), down dramatically from a rate of expansion of almost 3% signalled back in January.

The decline in global services activity was the largest ever recorded in the survey's 22-year history, while manufacturing output fell at one of the steepest rates seen since 2009.

Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist, IHS Markit
Tel: +44 207 260 2329
chris.williamson@ihsmarkit.com

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